tv Capital News Today CSPAN January 12, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST
than 1%. just a note about the data that we used for the homeless numbers, we used data from counts that communities submit to hud. the data are not perfect but we examine them carefully and they are adjusted where we find problems with them. although not without limitations, we think that the data do present a valid picture of what's going on in terms of homelessness in america. the homelessness went up -- this is probably not a surprise to anyone given the recession. we looked at several economic factors that are associated with homelessness to see what happened to them during the period. unemployment, unemployment, of course, is up some 60% more people were unemployed during the period we looked at. incomes, low wage worker incomes were down about 2%. that's twice as much as the rate of workers incomes fell overall in the country. housing, the number of people
who were low income and doubled up went up 12% over the period we looked at. people who become homeless were often doubled up before they became homeless. so this has obviously appearance big effect. the number of severely housing cost burdened households which are low-incomed households that are paying more than 50% of their income -- more than half of their income for their rent went up 9% so these housing factors also have an impact on the number of homeless people. so the national picture is that the economy did poorly especially for low-incomed people and as a result, homelessness went up. while the national picture is clear, the picture in the states varies. in some places the number of homelessness went up and some went down. in 19 of the states homelessness went down and in the majority of the states, 27, homelessness went down among chronically homeless people.
similarly the economic causes of homelessness did not behave consistently. in some states the factors got worse and other places they got better. or the picture was mixed that was more typical. we did find that states had the most signs of economic distress were the states that had the biggest increases in homelessness. so if you hear locally or talk to local communities that say that their numbers went up substantially more than 3%, that wouldn't be a surprise. also, it says we said it's true that in some communities, the numbers actually went down during this period. but homelessness did get worse nationally because of the recession. and it's important to remember that these data are comparing '09 with 2008. this was early on really before some of the interventions that later emerged to help prevent recession related homelessness kicked into gear. it's also important to remember that homelessness is a lagging indicator.
people don't become homeless on the day they lose their job. it typically takes a while for that happen so the pressure is not yet off. we anticipate that there could be continued increases in 2010 and 2011. on the other hand, the good news really is that the number could have been a lot worse. what's been happening in communities to forestall a recession-related increase in homelessness what have people been doing? in a lot of places, the number of homeless people went down during this period so communities are to be congratulated for improving their homeless systems, for redouble their efforts for investing wisely in solutions. those things can obviously work and did work. an example of this was the big increase in permanent support of housing during the period. the result of which was that the chronic homeless numbers did not go up at all, barely at all. since this report, communities
and the federal government have continued to take steps to try to prevent homelessness increases. communities are focus in prevention and getting people into housing faster and the federal government has stepped up with a $1.5 billion federal stimulus program and rapid rise program. it also passed the heather act authored by senator reed who's going to join us that funds action oriented activities and these are upcoming but these resources are not adequate to meet all of the projected needs nor will they probably last long enough. so we'll be discussing a little later what can be done to prevent further increases in homelessness. i now would like to introduce bill sermons. bill is the author along with pete witty who's also here of the report and he is the director of the homelessness research institute which is the research arm of the national alliance to end homelessness and he's going to tell you a little bit more about what's in the
repor report. >> thanks, nan. and thanks everybody in attendance today. you should have all found copies of the report in your seats. the binder -- or the folder that you have has a copy of the full report. and what you'll find inside is a report that consists of three main chapters. the first chapter looks at 2009 levels and 2008 to 2009 changes in overall homelessness and for individuals for the nation and each state. recognizing the impact of housing affordibility and income on homelessness, the second chapter looks at 2009 levels and changes from '08 to '09 in four economic factors and factors, the number of unpeople the number of households below of the poverty line that pay half their income on households, average real incomes of working
poor people and the number of residential units in foreclosure. these measures are reported nationally and also for each state. further recognizing another truth about homelessness that some specific groups of people are at increased risk of experiencing homelessness, chapter 3 looks at the 2009 levels and '08 to '09 changes in the sizes of four specific groups. these are low-incomed people who are doubled up, that is living with family and friends for economic reasons. young adults who have aged out of foster care, people discharged from jail or prison and people without health insurance. these indicators are all reported against nationally and at the state level. as i move into presenting some additional findings from the report i'd like to acknowledge the very hard work of pete witty, my co-author and has katherine and shaun. it's an honor to be able to present our team's work today. nan provided an overview of the major findings in the report particularly at the national level.
and i won't repeat those here but i'd like to highlight some additional findings including some insights into some of the state level data. nan mentioned in her introduction that while the nations saw an increase in overall homelessness, the individual states point decreases. and this is the wide variability across states and also in individual communities. by contrast, one thing that stood out when we were looking at the economic data was the relative consistent worsening of the economic circumstances across states. between 2009 -- 2008 and 2009, the number of unemployed people increased in all states. the number of doubled-up low-incomed people increased in 45 states. the number of units in foreclosure increased in 42 states. and the number of severely housing cost burdened households increased in 40 states. the ubiquity of the increases across states points to the
widespread economic pressures faced by families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. and to the demands on the systems that serve them. the first three chapters focus on homelessness and the economic and demographic factors that i talked about separately. chapter 4 looks at the economic and demographic factors in their relationship to the measures of homelessness that are in the report. a review reveals a handful of states, states like florida and nevada and california have rates of unemployment, cost burden, doubling up, lack of insurance, all worse than the national averages. and so not surprisingly, all of these states also have high rates of homelessness and they also have changes from 2008 to 2009 well above the 3% national increase. the report goes on to identify additional states with multiple high or worsening economic and demographic factors as well. lastly, the report combines
12-month shelter use data from hud with data on doubled-up people, young adults who age out of foster care and people discharged from prison and estimates that all three of those populations have annual odds of experiencing homelessness of 1 in 11 or greater. these relatively high odds speak clearly to the need to address these and other high risk groups and efforts to end homelessness. an appendix in the back of the record provides specifics about the data used in this report which relies most heavily on the 2008, 2009 january point in time counts conducted by over 450 communities across the country and reported to hud. and on the census bureau 2008 and 2009 american community survey microdata. sources also include foreclosure data from realty track,
unemployment data from the bureau of labor statistics and data on prison releases and foster care emancipations from the departments of justice and health and human services respectively. sources using the report represent the most recent available national data. newer national data on homelessness and most of the indicators will be available toward the end of this year. i want to close with a little bit of background. two years ago, we released a report called homelessness counts, changes in homelessness from 2005 to 2007. the second in the homelessness count series. at that time, we were in the midst of a major economic downturn that was ultimately declared the recession of 2007 to 2009. because of the economic services at that time, the question that most people wanted answered was, what will this recession mean for homelessness? and while we knew anecdotally that many homeless service
providers across the country were reporting increased demands for services and unemployment would lead to increased poverty and lead to increased homelessness there was no archive of national annual homeless data from past economic crises that we could consult to validate this expectation. fortunately, given the fact that annual national counts have been conducted since 2005, these data are available for 2007 to 2009 and the state of homelessness in america provides the first of its kind 5x5 look at changes in homelessness and the relevant economic and demographic factors. as nan mentioned, this is the first in the state of homelessness series which we expect to release annually. because of the relatively slow pace of economic recovery through 2010, it is expected that the next issue in the series will again focus largely on the economy's impact. it will also be where the first -- the first where the initial impacts of efforts like the homelessness prevention and
rapid rehousing program will begin to be evident. thank you for your attention and i'll turn it back over to nan. thanks. >> thank you, bill. we'll be taking questions at the end about the report. but in the meantime, homelessness really can seem, when you read a report like this or hear comments about it, to be rather an abstract concept but for people who experience it obviously it's all too real. and i want to introduce you now to ebony roscoe, ebony and her children were homeless. they were living in the community of hope which is a wonderful organization here in dc that helps homeless families and thanks to the resources of the homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing program that bill and i both mentioned earlier, ebony and her family were able to move into an apartment and now she has a job with the mental health services organization. so ebony is going to give us a
little bit of a perspective of the reality of homelessness and what it means in human terms to see these kinds of numbers increase. ebony? >> hello. my name is ebony roscoe. several years ago i moved to washington, d.c., from charlotte, north carolina, with my four children. we had need an unhealthy marriage that i was involved. i moved in with my brother who is staying here in washington, d.c. and without a job and stayed there for approximately four months. i stayed unemployed for 20 months. during the of unemployment and even while employed now, i make ends meet with assistance that i receive. benefits from social service have decreased tremendously but we still try to make things do with the current situation that we're in. homelessness and unemployment took a toll on me and my family.
but we were able to receive the things that -- i'm sorry, my children weren't able to receive the things that they wanted as being children such as like bikes and small toys that they wanted during the time. we had to relocate so staying -- staying and feeling stable within a school was difficult. it was hard enough moving from place to place and not knowing where we were actually going to be staying. so making and keeping stable friends made them feel sad at times. plus, they didn't have a place to call home. we were finally housed by community of hope, a local housing program here in washington, d.c., with resources from the hprp program, my family and i were able to find permanent housing. finding housing is like a brick being lifted off of my soldiers shoulders and being placed back on the ground. my family and i are able to move and be more involved in our
school and in the community. without being restricted to any time frame. also, it gives my children security, and they are happier. you can tell when they want to have a sleepover or have some of their friends over i'm able to say yes and make the decision without turning to someone else for approval. i'm able to build my independence again and make wiser choices when it comes to living with the necessities and wants. it makes a significant difference for secure, confidence stability but for children it gives them a piece of a childhood that they can say is like everyone else's in their eyes. it's difficult to see parents who have problems and not know if the children blame themselves or if they will later in life blame themselves. you never know what children are going through in the midst.
i'm sorry. but to see the change so drastic and for them to see a positive direction. if you keep aiming high and to change things in a bad situation, that they can go through anything and overcome and see themselves come on top. moving forward, i'm aiming to increase my income to better support me and my family and eventually purchase a vehicle so that i can expand my children's eyes in the world. i would like to get back to my community because when i needed it, they gave it to me. [applause] >> thank you so much, ebony. i know it's not always so easy to tell your personal stories in front of people so i appreciate -- we really appreciate you doing that. the state of homelessness shows us not surprisingly that homelessness is linked to economic factors like unemployment and low wages and
that as a result of the recession, homelessness is up. it also raises concerns that since homelessness is a lagging indicator, it may continue to rise over the next few years. what can congress and the administration do to avoid increased homelessness. while obviously as the report shows, there are two dimensions to this. one is the bigger picture that reduced unemployment, decent wages, in short and improved economy will lift all boats. and especially if housing costs stay a little bit lower. so as the economy improves, we expect that to have a positive impact, obviously, on the number of homeless people. we need congress and the administration to target their economic interventions, though, to the very lowest-incomed people because it's the very lowest-incomed people who have been hit the hardest by the recession. and although resources are scarce, experience tell us that letting people become homeless
because of budget cuts is a false savings. increased medical, education, housing and law enforcement costs eat up anything that might appear to be saved. now is not the time to abandon the most vulnerable people. scarce resources should be targeted to those people who need them most. since we will face a period of time before the economy recovers obviously and even longer before those benefits reach the poorest people, we will need to rely on the homelessness assistance system in the short run to help people, obviously. the homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing program and other emergency resources are helping now. but they need to be replaced when they run out and they need to be strengthened. and communities across the country have shifted their homelessness approach from band-aid approaches to housing solutions to prevention to rehousing and to planning to end homelessness. these communities have developed plans to end homelessness.
we need congress and the administration, good timing, to -- [laughter] >> which also the administration by the way also has a really excellent plan to end homelessness, opening doors which focuses on ending homelessness over the next 10 years. we need congress and the administration to continue to support these local and national plans to end homelessness and to fund them to succeed. and one of the real leaders in congress really our leader on homelessness is senator jack reed from rhode island. we know he does not need any introduction to any of the people in the room but let me just say we will rely and continue to rely on senator reed to advance the issues relating to homelessness and homeless veterans. he authored and led the heather bill which is really going to change the help communities change their homelessness assistance to be much more solution and outcome oriented and really refiguring the
approach to homelessness at the local level, his experience at west point and as an army ranger has -- has only strengthened his commitment to homeless veterans and he has been a leader in that issue as well. so we look forward to continuing to work with him to solve the issues of homelessness in the country and we're delighted to have him with us today. thank you so much, senator reed? [applause] >> thank you very much, nan, for those very kind words. and i also want to recognize nan for her extraordinary work in leading this national alliance but bill sermons who's a researcher, bill, thank you for your great efforts and ebony roscoe, ebony is a consumer advocate a community of hope graduate and thank you so much. i also have to recognize on my staff james and tara who actually do the work. i get to give speeches.
they actually do the work extraordinarily gifted and committed individuals. i've been engaged for many years in trying to address appropriately the issue of homelessness. as a young lawyer in rhode island, i was asked to go to be a pro bono lawyer for a a soup kitchen and homeless shelter in south providence and i began to understand homelessness in this country. today's report state of homelessness in america, it's gotten much worse despite the efforts and despite the extraordinary contributions of individuals across this country. the partnerships that have evolved. one, it's a reflection of the most difficult economic circumstances we've seen since the great depression.
that has taken a huge toll and not surprisingly in terms of the homeless population as well as other americans. and this is not just about a topic, a policy issue. it's about people. our neighbors. our fellow americans who are facing some very, very severe challenges. one of the ironies back home in my state of rhode island is that the average rent, monthly rent, has increased 45% at a time when the housing market is collapsing. the residential housing market is collapsing. that is a bit of irony for people who are struggling to make ends meet struggling frankly in too many cases middle incomed families who have to give up their home and now have to look at soaring rents in the rental markets. that is a very bitter situation and all too prevalent in our communities, not just rhode island but in rhode island particularly we've seen the
unemployment rate go from 6% to as high as 12.7% in 2008. it's come down to 11% plus now. still unacceptable. and the homeless population, no surprise, has increased dramatically. about 34% from 2008 to 2009 in rhode island. and what else is happening and what is identified in this report is the doubling up phenomenon, people moving in with other families. technically not homeless but as the report points out, if you're double up, there's a 1 in 10 chance that you'll be homeless very shortly. and the providence journal in one of their reports, my leading newspaper, more than half of rhode islanders sleeping on cots and mattresses in 2010 remember homeless for the first time. this is not the situation, the chronic individuals with several
different issues, housing, health care issues, et cetera. these are people who have always had a home until very recently. so this issue of homelessness which has always been at the forefront of your efforts is now taking on an even more important dimension in our country and our neighborhood. the federal government, state government, local governments cannot tackle this issue alone. we need this kind of partnership that you're on the forefront but we all understand the fiscal pressures that are building in every level of government. that means we have to be more innovative, bring more ingenuity to these efforts, more partnership, more collaboration, more of those things that will put people in homes with less resources to do it. now, i'm here to work as i've tried to in the past to help you in your efforts. we must build on a passage of
the hearth in 2009. it's not sufficient to make a legislative statement and not put the resources behind it to actually help people and we've got to do that. that's going to be a challenge. it's going to require your grassroots efforts across the country to help my colleagues battle from difficult choices of priorities about where we put resources. and this is going to require a national effort in the rural communities, in the urban communities. one of the things about the hearth act there's significant improvements in how we deal with rural homelessness and this was a central city issue not an issue affecting the great plains and the small towns of america. it's there. unfortunately. and this hearth act has some better approaches so i hope we can engage all of my colleagues in this effort. we're beginning an effort today
but actually continuing an effort. i can recall again thinking back to the late '80s and when i came down here for a march against homelessness in the 1980s in washington, all across the country, that spirit is still alive. even in this very difficult environment. and the reason it's alive, frankly, because you, ladies and gentlemen, but you have not forgotten we are literally our brothers and sisters keepers and that's an important thing to remember. thank you very much. [applause] >> well, you can see why we're so grateful to have senator reed on our side working on this issue. thank you so much, senator reed. and now bill and i would be glad to entertain any questions you may have about state of
homelessness in america. yes. >> i wanted to ask you about -- about homelessness in the district. and i wonder if you had a chance to look at the data and credit that to whether that was a policy or what were your explanation for that? >> well, i think here in the district, speaking from my own experiences as a resident of the district, that really was as a result of a policy to house chronically homeless people so there was a real effort on the part of the district government to identify chronically homeless people and get them into permanent supportive housing. there was also a big effort to house homeless veterans in the district. identify them and house them using hud -- the hud federal program. and also families who were also housed so there was a policy change in the district focusing
on housing. >> do you have any numbers on how many houses like yours in the country now? >> it's a good question. we do have information in the report about the number -- total number of beds broken out by -- into three categories. sort of permanent supportive housing beds. also looking at transitional housing beds and emergency shelter beds and so i think the 2009 numbers on shelter beds were about 180,000 in terms of transitional housing beds, about 185,000 and in terms of permanent supportive housing beds around 215,000. >> there was an increase also, i believe -- there was an increase in permanent supportive housing beds of 11,000 between '08 and '09. >> given the variation that you found among states, did you look at what was working in a systemic way in the states where there was a decrease?
i mean, you focus on the risk factors in the states where there was an increase but did you see in terms of states that spent more and allocated more of their budgets to this or what did you see that's consistent in those states whether there was a decrease? >> rights. and, you know, one of the things that's true is that these efforts tend to happen at very local levels. you know, one of the series that we have, of our publication series we have community snapshot series where we look at individual communities and our last three series which focused on wichita, quincy and alameda county all showed that from '08 to '09 there were individual communities that had decreases in specific populations and in overall homelessness in the context of the same economic factors that we're looking at. in this report we don't really look at sort of identifying one single factor that seemed to drive things. although we did find -- and i didn't mention it in my findings, a particular association between high rates of severe housing cost burden
for poor households and high rates of homelessness and so those two seem to go together. >> any questions or comments? yes. >> you talked about the inadequacy of the resources that are available for homelessness programs. you probably also are aware for many cities across the country are in severe financial distress and there are estimates -- some people are estimating 50 to 100 municipalities are going bankrupt. do you have any sense what kind of impact -- if this continues -- if the cities continue to collapse this way, what kind of impact that will have? >> well, we're obviously very concerned about the current situation and the numbers going up because of the pressures you mentioned because, you know, the things that are talked about in the report in terms of income unemployment continue but also as you say, really the state and
local budget cuts had not hit when this report came -- when the data from this report was accessed so we're very concerned about the numbers going up because of all of those factors. and the communities are going to have to do much, much more with much, much less because of the lack of state and local resources. i think with respect to state and local government resources it's also not only a matter of funding the homeless assistance programs for people after they become homeless but also whether those cuts are going to cause more homelessness because of inadequate mental health services, substance abuse treatment and supports for families. so we're worried about it. you know, the counter-veiling pressure this report does not impact the homelessness rapid recovery housing funding which we hope will push back some of those potential increases. and really the change strategies
that communities are taking. but we are very, very concerned about increasing numbers. >> what do you think of states like south carolina where the risk factors are going to up but then homelessness is going down? >> i think as i sort of alluded to before, i think and maybe nan will answer that with ebony sort of communicating her story, you know, every individual, you know, that experiences homelessness has a very sort of unique circumstance. and i think that shows up when you look at the fact -- when you look in states, you know, the same factors that may be caused homelessness to increase in one state may not have the exact same impact. nan mentioned the fact that homelessness is also a lagging indicator so as we move forward with future reports we'll be able to take a little better look at that. one of the things that can't be overlooked and shouldn't be overlooked is that in the face of a lot of these overwhelming
economic challenges, communities have adapted. they have innovated and introduced strategies to try to deal with homelessness to prevent it. and so i think we can't overlook, you know, the commendable work that's been done all across the country. >> any questions? >> over the years you guys have been great about identifying the different populations, especially chronic homelessness or, you know, youth aging out of foster case is there a new face of homelessness under the whole foreclosure crisis that we should be proactive about are making new alliances, you know, because there's like a world out there preventing foreclosures and something that we should be doing nationally or as we were talking about it? >> i'll let bill speak to the foreclosure connection because he has worked on that but i will just mention something we didn't
mention earlier, which is the report identifies that only a very small group of homeless youth were counted by communities, was it 12,000; is that right? >> yes >> there are 12 more than 12,000 homeless youth in the country. and one thing that we feel that we're very concerned about is that we don't have a handle on the problem of homelessness among youth. we don't have a handle on the numbers. we don't have a good assessment of the solutions. and we called a lot of -- we called the communities that had reported no homeless youth which a lot of -- was it 30% of the continuum of no youth at all. i don't know about the new face of the homelessness but that is a population that i think we join with the federal government and the u.s. interagency council on homelessness and hha and hud
trying to get a better handle of that problem and the solutions. >> and certainly as it relates to foreclosure, yeah, i see some people that help -- there was a joint multiorganization effort on the foreclosure to homelessness report. and one of the findings in the report was that while, you know, the majority of people being served by, you know, homeless assistance organizations are not there due to foreclosure. they're still are -- i think the report estimated 5 to 10%, you know, of serving organizations reported some of their -- the people that they were serving were experiencing foreclosures so i think that there's -- there's a mix. there's a lot of people who were experiencing the same kinds of factors that would have led them into homelessness before the foreclosure crisis and a lot of additional people who are having additional stresses whether it would be foreclosure or unemployment that they just wouldn't have imagined a few years before. >> a follow-up to that we're still a nation at war. so what's the status of homeless
veterans and specifically in increased homelessness or decreased or awareness of communities of that population. >> we don't report on homeless veteran numbers this time around at least in part because in the past, the va had a system of counting or estimating the size of the homeless veteran population. they've recently teamed up with hud to come up with a new methodology and they're releasing that as an addendum to hud's report and so as that becomes a regularly sort of issued item and as the methodologies of that become clear, we'll be able to report on -- be able to report on that. >> i just would mention there is a national goal that the department of veterans affairs set the goals to ending veteran homelessness in five years. that's big priority for us as
well. the number has been going down, which is a really good thing. and there's no reason we should have any homeless people, there's no reason we should have any homeless veterans. this is a solvable problem. and i think it's very -- there's a lot of political will behind it, and i'm pretty sure we'll be able to make good progress, we as a nation will be able to good progress on that moving ahead. other questions? very good. well, thank you all so much for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> state department spokesman, p.j. crowley says the u.s. is concerned about events in lebanon, with the government has been developed following the resignation of 11 cabinet ministers. the resigned in response to a u.n. backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of a former lebanese prime minister. that tribunal is expected to indict members of hezbollah, a shiite muslim group based in lebanon. due to technical problem, we
were only able to show you a 20 minute portion of that briefing. >> and finally, obviously we are aware of the news in lebanon. we are disappointed by what has occurred today and are concerned. this is a transparent effort by forces who seek to subvert justice and undermined lebanon's stability and progress. as you know, president obama met today with prime minister hariri on advancing the sovereignty and independence of lebanon and for staying focused on the needs and interests of the people of lebanon. we believe the work of the special tribunal should go forward so justice can be served and impunity and it. more than that, we believe that all those lebanon's leaders have a responsibility to serve the people of lebanon, trying to bring down the government is an attempt to undermine the special
tribunal and it is an abdication of that responsibility. we are working with the lebanese government and other partners who share interests in stability and justice including france, saudi arabia qatar and egypt, the next steps that will protect the tribunal and improve stability in lebanon. we encourage all lebanese to work together to avoid threats and actions that could cause instability and to enable the governing coalition to serve the interest of lebanese people and justice, stability and peace. hezbollah is presenting a false choice for a lebanon of justice or stability, we think lebanon deserves both. >> can we stick with lebanon quite >> sure. connect the united states government has since 2006 provided significant assistance to lebanon, notably in fmf funds
to the lebanese armed forces and also to the security apparatus. does the u.s. department intend to continue such funding, both during nt and direct him now between the apparent collapse of the government and the arrival of a successor? and while the complexion of any successor government determine whether he would keep funding it in the future? >> well, will wait to see what happens here going forward. obviously, president sulayman will provide instructions for formation of the new government. will watch closely what occurs and to evaluate any actions that we might take as events develop. were committed to lebanon. committed to its stability and it is within that context we
provide, you know, military and other assistance to lebanon. it's in our national interest to do that, but we want to make sure we see the emergence of a government that continues to focus on and searched in the interest of the people of lebanon and not the interest. the actors no immediate product as a result of the political uncertainty? >> one aspect is we decry the motive so hezbollah and what they have obviously tried to do to intimidate the government and use the set two d. has pressured tech fix. at this point, lebanon will work to put together a new government and we'll see what emerges. >> that there is no immediate cut up? the mac in the past, the similar crises resulted in the eruption of outbreak or violent.
so when are you prepared for such an eventuality? and second -- >> i'm sorry. are we compared to what? >> on lebanon. >> erupted into violence in the past. there was such a seller government crisis -- [inaudible] are you prepared for such an eventuality? and no one as he decry hezbollah redrick and interference, or do also cautioned places like israel not to take advantage or not to take what is happening in lebanon as a cover for interfering in lebanon quite >> well, let's not jump to conclusions. were talking about events that have occurred in the last three hours. this is obviously a fluid situation in lebanon. we certainly do not want to see, you know, pilots occur. we do not want to see any outside party take advantage of what's going on. that's why we have been committed over many months to
the stability and sovereignty of lebanon and why we've been vocal in their support for the existing government because we thought that rot the best potential for long-term stability. we will continue to support lebanon. but continue to do whatever we can with the international community to help lebanon remains secure, prosperous and move forward politically, socially and economically. it is in our interest to see that happen. we are committed to help lebanon and anyway we can. >> do you think less of the government means the collapse or are we to get see a continued effort? >> you know, we're engaged. the secretaries in the region. she has the opportunity, as we speak, to talk to leaders who also have an interest in lebanon. we'll continue to be close with
those countries you talked about and most focused and concerned about what is happening in lebanon. but just to reiterate, this is obviously our view, a transparent attempt to force the lebanese government to back away from his support for the special tribunal. no government has the authority to do that. we're committed to see justice, you know, certain lebanon. we think it's important to lebanon's future and we would hope that it will do everything we can to see the work of the tribunal continue to endeavor in the tribunal itself decides based on the review of the facts. >> p.j., hezbollah ministers and their allies have designed at the same time and president obama was meeting with prime minister hariri. >> what a coincidence. >> what you think about the
findings? >> again, this goes to the transparency of their type takes. you know, we question whether, you know, hezbollah does have the interest of the people of lebanon as their focus. we believe they are serving the interest of outsiders and are trying to, you know, defied lebanon rather than try to continue to support lebanon's long-term interest. >> is that the deal between saudi arabia and syria regarding lebanon failed to reach an agreement regarding the stability of lebanon. was there any goal behind this? >> behind what >> behind the saudi's -- >> well, we have an interest in lebanon. we continue to support the stability and sovereignty of lebanon. we can't speak for a country
like syria. you know, we've expressed our concerns many times about syria's support of hezbollah and what that means in terms of the sovereignty of lebanon. we want to see lebanon prosper. we want to see a government that enjoys the support of the lebanese people and to serve in the interest of the people of lebanon. we think is government was doing that and we regret these actions have been taken today and we would hope to see you a government emerge that is again focused on lebanon's long-term interests and obviously will continue to support the work of the tribunal. >> they said yesterday in an interview that i think the government and people of lebanon should hold both individuals accountable, talking about the tribunal. not the groups to whom they belong. i don't believed in collective guilt, but the individual should
be judged as individuals. can you clarify this point? >> it is what we said all along. the tribunal is there in order to support justice and end impunity, you know, within lebanon as i said earlier. you know, hezbollah is promoting a vision with the choices either stability or justice. we think that lebanon deserves both. >> when she said the individual should be judged, not the group, if the indictment accused hezbollah members to be behind the initial hump of that group? >> well, let's we have concerns about hezbollah and as a terrorist organization and those concerns, you know, are not
affected by the work of the tribunal. but to the extent that, you know, the tribunal is investigating a political assassination that took the life of a great leader of lebanon and other lebanese citizens at the same time. it is important for the tribunal to be able to finish its work, evaluate the facts and then, you know, take appropriate actions are recommendations based on its evaluation of the facts. you know, this is what justice is all about. but you don't indict an entire group. you do in fact indict those responsible for this terrible assassination that has increased tensions in the region. we want to see justice served or want to see lebanon able to spur suit interest in the future and
we think lebanon should be able to do both. >> does that mean there's individuals from hezbollah has bought was from behind? >> or individuals who are or individuals who are or individuals who are this assassination. you know, those individuals should be brought before a duly constituted court and that is what is behind the work of the tribunal, to determine who is responsible for this assassination and bring those individuals to justice. >> even at its the leadership of the party? >> again, this is a lever process. you know, any political assassination, they are very well might be someone responsible for the killing beyond just the individual or individuals who planted the bomb. the real issue is if there were people who were involved in a
plot to kill duly constituted leader of any country, they should be brought to justice. that is what the people of lebanon went to see and that is what we along with others in the international community want to see. >> the collapse of mr. hariri's government has taken place today after the meeting of secretary clinton and king abdullah in new york. even the state department has exposed that does it as just a courtesy visit, but was secretary clinton having a company in her some personnel from the national charity entourage, like mr. shapiro. this is making on the middle east believe that it was not only a courtesy visit, but there
has been trying between that and the lebanese government. can you appeal to a -- any element and not visit it would lead to this conclusion? people are accusing americans at after the 40s are allowed to interfere, this is interference from the united states. >> we are absolutely not interfering in the internal affairs of lebanon. we are expressing our heartfelt view that we felt there was a government in lebanon, serving the interest of lebanon, which includes supporting the pursuit of justice for lebanon to the special tribunal. you know, we look forward to the emergence of the new government.
this government should be formed from inside lebanon. it should not be subject to influences from those who have outside agendas and we don't think those outside agendas are in the long-term interest of lebanon. we are committed to see the state of lebanon emerge, that is secure a peaceful process and is not subject to outside interference. that influence comes from iran or anywhere else. but we are committed as a country and together with the national community to support the sovereignty and independence of lebanon. these are choices for the lebanese government and the people of lebanon to make. they should be allowed to make those choices. but we question the fact that a political actions by one element of lebanon today is the question whether that is really serving
the long-term interest of the people who want security, what justice and are entitled to both. >> prime minister rashid karami has been thrown in there as an alternative person to preside in the new government of lebanon. but the united states is willing to support -- >> secretary met with prime minister hariri late last week as the duly constituted leader of the lebanese government. the president met with prime minister hariri today in that same vein. you know, during the beating, we reiterated our commitment to support, you know, lebanon and its sovereignty and independence. that is what we will continue to do. obviously lebanon broke determine what to do in light of the political action taken today. it will not change our commitment to support lebanon in
any way we can as it continues to seek to reinforce the sovereignty and independence and security. >> it's hard for me to say. i don't know if syria has a history of interfering in lebanese affairs but i just don't know at this point whether there was a hidden hand behind this. >> how confident are you new the new government can be formed peacefully with outside influence? >> that as i would like to see. we would like to see through a process influence? >> that as i would like to see. we would like to see through a process influence? >> that as i would like to see. we would like to see through a process two greater instability. >> days -- we want to see the emergence of, you know, a new government in a peaceful environment, free of any intimidation, free of any outside agendas. that will be our hope for lebanon, but obviously we'll see how events unfold in the coming
days and we will hope that no element within lebanese society takes it anti-chavez or tries to incite violence in the aftermath. >> a couple hours ago, the prime minister and the press conference with secretary clinton said we have to find a way -- he put it in a way we have to find a way for the lebanese crisis. is that administration prepared or willing for will be part of those process? >> well, let's separate those two things have. you know first of all, there is, you know, in any country with a
parliamentary system, when a governing coalition, sales, there are procedures for the emergence of a new governing coalition. so obviously, certain ministers today have withdrawn their support for the existing government and a new government will need to be formed. we want to see that government forms, you know, through the normal processes under the lebanese constitution. we want to see it happen peacefully and free of any outside interference or any further intimidation tax takes as we've seen in lebanon in recent weeks and months. >> it's time to upload your videos for his student c-span document competition. the topic is washington d.c. to my length to c-span by
>> the ladies and gentlemen that oath of office will be administered to governor-elect nick e. haley by the chief justice of the south carolina supreme court, the honorable gene hayford toll. >> governor-elect haley, raise your right hand, place your hand on the bible and take your oath. by, nikki haley. >> i nikki haley.
solemnly swear that i am duly qualified according to the constitution of this state to exercise the duties of the office of governor of south carolina. >> governor of south carolina. >> and that our will to the best of my ability discharge the duties thereof , protect and defend. >> preserve protect and defend. >> the constitution of the state and of the united states. >> end of the united states. >> so help me god. >> so help make a. >> ladies and children i present the honorable nikki haley, governor. ♪ ♪
children for their unconditional love and support they continue to show me. we as a family are honored to serve this great state. michael and i wanted thank both of our families for the strength, the guidance and advice that they gave -- that they give us during the best in of the most challenging at times. they are the constant reminders of what it means to carry ourselves with great in -- dignity. we want to thank governor mark sanford for his service to south carolina and his constant fight for the citizens of this state. [applause] to jenny sanford thank you for representing south carolina with strength and grace for the last eight years. your friendship has meant so much to our family. [applause] to the stanford boys, thank you for allowing the people of south carolina the opportunity to
watch you grow up and into fine young men. we look forward to continuing your games and mazes in the chain -- today is a great day in south carolina. it is a day for new beginnings. it is a date to turn the page from the past and it is a day filled with anticipation of the next chapter of our state's future. before we talk about our bright future, it is important to pay respects to our past. our state has an incredibly powerful and rich history. it is one that is not always been pleasant but one that can teach us many great lessons. we have a history of fierce independence and that independence has some remarkable relevance for us today. wild in 1773 it was a tea party in boston that became famous, there was also a whole lot of -- charleston harbor that december. we declared independence from great britain some four months
before thomas jefferson wrote the declaration of independence in philadelphia. and the kings mountain, just over a northern border, our local militia and not professional soldiers, helped turn the tide of the revolutionary war that brought us the freedom we still enjoy today. let's see, tax protest, tea parties, the grassroots professionals. does have a certain ring to it. [applause] of course i'm talking about our past, it would be wrong to mention our greatness during the revolutionary period without noting the ugliness in life that follow. the horrors of slavery and discrimination need not be retold here. they too remain a fabric of our history and a fabric of our lives. but i do take comfort in and agree with the words of columnist george will when he recently wrote this about our states how struggles. if the question is which state
has changed most of the last half-century, the answer might be california. but if the question is which state has changed the most for the better, the answer might he south carolina. [applause] i stand before you today the proud daughter of indian immigrants, growing up in rural small-town south carolina. my family experienced the state in and this country at its best. no, not every day was perfect. no we were not always free from the burdens faced by those who look and sound different but we counted our blessings and my parents reminded me and my brothers and sisters every day how blessed we were to live in this country. we saw the constant example of neighbors helping neighbors. for us, happiness existed in not knowing what we didn't have and in knowing that but we did have was the opportunity to better our lives through hard work and strong values. you see my mother was offered
the first female judgeship in her native country, but was unable to serve on the bench because of the challenges of being a woman and indian. now she sits here today watching her daughter become the governor of south carolina. the stage he proudly calls her home. [applause] when you grow up with a mom like that the word can't is not in your vocabulary. i will always be the proud daughter of immigrants. i love we share our families experience and i will always strive in my actions and in my words to make south carolina place where all of our children, regardless of race or gender, know that unlimited opportunities for happiness and success await them. today our state and nation faced difficult times. far too many of our fellow citizens are without a job. our economy is not growing as fast as it should and our state budget has the largest shortfall ever. but when i survey this troubled landscape i am not discouraged.
we we know that sometimes can produce some of the best decisions and it is our duty to make this time of challenge into the opportunity it can be to turn our state around. it is indeed in a day and on this new day we must commit ourselves to the proposition that failure is not an option. one i think that our present economic challenges i am reminded of the words of margaret thatcher who said, once we can see that public spending and taxation are more than a necessary evil, we have lost sight of the core values of freedom. nearly two years ago the federal government in washington decided to transfer his irresponsible fiscal practices to the state and our state, just like every other, except that it. when we produced this year's budget we will see the heavy price for having done so. in our coming years we must recognize that we will not produce the jobs are people deserve by placing higher tax burdens on our workers and our small businesses.
and we will not reach prosperity by increasing state government share of our economy. the issue however that i have every confidence we will achieve a much more prosperous place. and we will do so by going back to that spirit of independence that fuels south carolina's leading role in defeating the strongest nation on earth two centuries ago. when we embarked on this journey toward growth and prosperity, we must do so together with one vision, efficient that is focused on the success of our families and their businesses. is a vision that is not impaired bipartisanship, personalities or distractions. we don't have time for that and i won't stand for it. [applause] many times over the last 18 months, i asked south carolinians to join and movement. that movement was never about one person or about one
election. our state constitution requires the governor and the general assembly to work together to serve south carolina well. and serve together we will. the energy comes -- the energy that drives our corporation does not come from this beautiful capitol building behind me. the energy comes from the sound of people's voices. the success of the movement i ask you to join will be realized when elected officials are accountable for their votes, when citizen participation and government reaches new heights and then the voice heard the loudest is neither mine nor that of any other elected official, but it is that of the taxpayers of this state. [applause] in the days, weeks and months ahead, we have the opportunity to predict -- reduce state spending and make it more efficient. we have the opportunity to improve education and allow our children to be successful regardless of where they are
born. we have the opportunity to strengthen our small businesses to help them create the jobs are people need. we have the opportunity to restructure our state government to make it more transparent, more accountable and more respectful of the people of south carolina. we must seize these inspiring opportunities. if we do, we will have a stay for good jobs are in constant supply, where south carolina becomes the envy of the nation and where we are so free of political distractions that even the media is forced to report good news. [laughter] [applause] just imagine that. that is my south carolina. it is a south carolina want for my children and for every family in our great state. so with faith in god, who knows what is right, and faith in our own abilities to use the skills and judgment he gives us to do what is right, we can make this
♪ my home sweet home [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen please remain standing for the benediction to be delivered by the reverend charles jackson of oakland baptist church in west columbia. >> let us receive the benediction. eternal god our father, as we conclude the natural program for the state of south carolina on this historic day, we ask that you will continue to sustain us with your guidance and
protection. in the words of holy scripture, empower us to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with the. and now, may the lord bless you and keep you. may the lord make his face shine upon you and to be gracious unto you. may the lord lift up the continents upon you and give you peace and prosperity now and always, amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, you may be seated.
>> good morning. mr. secretary welcome to your alma mater. good morning all. we have a special event today. secretary geithner will speak t us on u.s.-china economic relations, subject that i was all of you know is of greats. importance to both countries and to the world. in the absence of the dean of our school jessica einhorn who is watching this event from i bologna italy and the head of our china studies department who was also watching from korea, wo are chilean international school i've been asked to introduce the secretary and to serve assk moderator during the question-and-answer session. i am pieter bottelier and iue teach courses on china's economy at this school. since tim geithner is well-knowc to all of you, i can keep my introductory comments very short
tammuz played a prominent role in national and international economics and finance for manyd years. he has always had a special interest in east asia. he was sworn in as the 75th a u.s. secretary of the treasury on the 26th of january, 2009 in the middle of a deepy recession as i don't have to remind you. there are very few challenges that have not t been -- since te time. he worked in the treasury department earlier, from 88 tour 2001 under two secretaries, robert rubin and lawrence summers. under two secretaries, rubin and lawrence summers. the last two years as undersecretary for international affairs. after that he became director of the policy department at the imf
and was appointed to the new york fed in 2003 as its ninth president and ceo. he got his be a in government studies from dartmouth and his am a in national economics and east asian studies from this school. he lived in china and japan and studied both languages. finally before i invite him to the podium, may i remind you to put yourself phones on silent. [applause] >> i spent two years of my life here long time ago studying the chinese and japanese economics, didn't in joy the economics that much. i played quite a lot of pull in
the basement. i don't know if there is a pool table there anymore but it is a great place and i admire what jessica and her colleagues have built. i am biased but this is one of the preeminent institutions in the united states engaged in one of the most important challenges in public policy education to help americans understand the world and the role we play in it. this is important because we can effectively pursue our interests as a nation unless we understand the objectives and capabilities of other nations. president obama will host president hu at the white house. this takes place at a time of important transition for the world economy, and for the american economy. global economy is emerging from the financial crisis but the crisis left lasting scars that will take years to repair and
left a growing gap between the growth trajectories of the developed economies and rapidly growing emerging economies. many major economies are confronted with the challenge of rebuilding after a crisis, many of the emerging economies are at the early stage of what should be a long period of rapid economic growth with rising in comes creating growing demand for resources and investment capital. the growth of the united states stands somewhere between these two divergent paths. we are lucky to grow at half the rate of the major emerging economies but twice the rate of europe and japan. these growth dynamics' will change the balance in the world economy forcing changes in the architecture of the trade and financial systems. in this new global context china's principal economic challenges are how to manage the next stage in the transition
from a state dominated developing economy dependent on external demand and external technology to a more market-oriented economy with growth powered by domestic demand and innovation. i want to talk about the implications of these changes for our economic relations with china and u.s. economic policy. china presents the enormous opportunities for the united states and world but its size, the speed of its ascent and policies are growing source of concern both here and in countries around the world. to put those concerns in context i want to state some fundamental propositions about our economic relationship. first, the economic relationship between the united states and china provides tremendous benefit to both our nations. even though we compete in many areas our economic strength are largely complementary. china faces a very complicated
set of challenges as it transitions more toward a market economy but it is in our interest and the world's interest that china manage these challenges successfully. third proposition. our priorities in this economic relationship from the exchange rate to protection of natural property to reflect changes that are fundamentally in china's interest. ultimately china will need to make these changes to promote long-term prosperity. the fourth and final proposition, the prosperity of americans depends overwhelmingly on the economic policies we pursue to strengthened american competitiveness. even as we work for further reforms in china we need to understand our strength as a nation will depend not on choices made by china's leaders but on the choices we make here at home. over the last few decades china
has emerged as a major economic force. growth was the least by china's economic reforms and a growing labour force and one of history's great migrations from factories. china's growth was made possible by the actress china enjoyed to the market's, investments and technology of the united states and other major economies. the open multilateral trading system with its balance of rules and responsibilities was built with the leadership of the united states decades before china opened up to the rest of the world and opportunities created by that system were fundamental to china's economic sense and remain vital to china's ability to continue to grow. china needs the united states but the united states benefits substantially from a rapidly growing economic relationship with china. the benefit to the relationship are hard to capture in any one specific but remember this. the united states is on track to
export more than $100 billion of goods and servicess to china this year. our exports are growing at quite the rate of growth of exports of the rest of the world. these exports support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the nation in all sectors from high technology to soybeans bleaker still aircraft, automobiles, forklift and financial services. we have a great deal invested in each other's success. in our economic relationship with china we focus on two principal objectives -- the first is to expand opportunities for you as company's to export and sell in the chinese market. this requires a more level playing field to compete with
china's companies. courage shifted domestic consumption. as part of this china's exchange needs to strengthen in response to market forces. i want to provide a quick review of some of our concerns. the extent of progress we have achieved as we see it in each of these areas. first, on the broader competitive landscape in china, we face in that market, the commanding heights of the chinese economy and financials are still overwhelmingly dominated by the government. workers are able to take range of preferences and subsidies. operate behind trade to give them a competitive advantage relative to u.s. and other foreign firms and workers. they get access to low-cost land and energy. they enjoy a preference in terms of access to government contracts. the electrical properties widespread in china across many
industries and the chinese government has introduced a range of new policies to encourage innovation in china designed to favored chinese technology over foreign technology including the enormous government market. where these practices violate china's international commitments we are active in using and continue to use the remedies available under u s trade law to protect our interests. china has been gradually moving to address these concerns. the government recently launched the new enforcement efforts to combat the theft of intellectual property to force chinese companies to pay for the intellectual property they use. the chinese leadership has committed to expand opportunities and access to government procurement contracts. the government is committed not to discriminate against u.s. companies that operate in china and we welcome these commitments. data to address all our concerns that there is something we can build on and we will continue to
press the chinese commitments. in china's interest, government domination limits the chinese economy to prevent the private sector from contributing to growth for full potential. you can't contribute if you don't protect intellectual property. alongside the reforms i mentioned, are we move definitively away from export driven growth model of the last few decades to model driven by electric consumption. this recognizes that china is too large relative to the world economy to continue to rely on foreign demand to grow and the government has adopted a comprehensive program of reforms to rebalance the economy and shift growth to domestic demand. this requires reforms to increase public spending,
minimum-wages and investment and services, for individuals and companies. and specters that drove initial decades of growth. it is already having a major impact on the shape of chinese growth and providing increased opportunities for american companies. domestic demand is contributing more to growth and u.s. exports are growing more rapidly. it is important to recognize china closely manages the exchange rate. that restrict capital to move in and out of the company. these policies have the effect of keeping the currency undervalued.
they have substantial costs on a flexible exchange rates with substantial loss of competitiveness against china. it will run the risk of domestic acceleration as you have for already seen. and a damaging rise in asset prices. sustaining undervalued currency will undermine china's efforts to go towards consumption and higher value production. since june of 2010 when the chinese authorities announced they would resume the reform of their exchange-rate regime, they allowed the currency to appreciate by only 3% against a $1 nominal terms. this is a pace of 6% year in nominal terms. the real rate of appreciation is significantly faster because inflation in china is much
higher than in the united states and is the real rate of depreciation that matters for the incentives for how what they purchase, what they invest. we believe it is in china's interest to allow the currency to appreciate more rapidly in response to market forces because china will do so. because the alternative would be too costly for china and china's relations with the rest of the world. these are the main priorities. let me tell you what china's are. china's objectives are focused in the economic area in the following core priorities. china wants more access far as to u.s. high-technology products. china wants to see greater investment opportunities in the united states. china would like to be accorded the same terms and actress to the market that other major market economies enjoyed. we are willing to make progress on these issues. it is important to recognize
that our ability to do so will depend on how much progress we see from china. as china reduces the role of the state and local economy, performs policies that discriminate against u.s. companies, remove subsidies and preferences for domestic firms and technology and allow the exchange rate to reflect market forces we will make more progress on china's objectives. in any discussion of china is important for americans to understand the solutions to our challenges arrest first and foremost with policies in washington, not those in beijing. fundamentally number of jobs we create the pace of growth and income of americans depend on the results of choices we make in the united states, not the choices of other countries. in our effort to rebuild and put more americans back to work we have to make sure we are making investments and reforms that will be essential to our capacity to grow in the future.
as countries like china, india, brazil, grow and expand, won the american workers and companies to play a major role in that growth. we want to see a substantial part of that growing demand that is going to come outside the united states that by those produced in the united states that are fuelled by investment in the united states. if we are successful in doing that we will be much stronger as a nation but to be successful meeting that challenge there are things we need to do here. we need to invest in research and development, we need to invest more in education reform. we need to invest in public infrastructure and create stronger incentives for investment in the united states by americans and foreign companies. we have to be more forceful and effective in floating american exports and restore fiscal
responsibility. restoring fiscal responsibility is going to require the government to spend less and spend more wisely so we can afford to make the investments that are critical to the future of growth that require tax reform that produces a system more simple and fair, encourages growth and investment to restore fiscal sustainability. these are our challenges. not just an economic imperative but national security imperative because our strength as a nation depends on the ability of our political system to move quickly enough to put in place solutions to our long-term problems. our economy as a country has been our openness to ideas and talent, our capacity to innovate, excellence in higher education, willingness to invest public resources strategically and scientific research and discovery and political will to confront challenges with speed and wisdom and force. if we preserve and build on those strengths and if china
successfully continues on its path to a more open, modern market economy than both our countries and the world economy will be in a stronger position. the president recently said we should feel confident about our ability to compete but we are going to have to step up our game. china's rise offers us the opportunity of dramatic growth and demand for things americans create and produce but it will also force us to raise our game. we should welcome both the opportunity and the challenge. i would be happy to take your questions. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. we now have about 20 or 25 minutes for questions and answers. because the event is taking place in a school i would like
to give priority to students, alums and faculty members. to whom i may i give the floor? would you please wait for the microphone, introduce yourself, your name and affiliation and one question very brief. >> thank you for the excellent speech. actually your speech about china is -- it makes issues left theories. >> excellent question. i don't usually complement the new york times but they had two very important stories that explain this better than i can do.
when you think about competitiveness and the affects in the exchange-rate you need to look at inflation and the move in the exchange rate. you see inflation accelerating, running much higher rate than in the united states and that rate of inflation combined with a change in the exchange rate that affects competitiveness, and if you look at the amount the exchange rate has moved and the relative lack federation of chinese inflation the last six months or so, is appreciating to the rate of 10% a year. if that appreciation was sustained over time, it would make a substantial difference in correcting a major distortion of the chinese and global economy. we are probably at the end of the first quarter to use -- we are in the end of the second inning to use a sports comparison. it is changing. it has to happen. the fundamental forces that are
pushing chinese productivity growth and pushing inflation higher will bring about the necessary adjustment in exchange rates. >> do you have many students who would like to ask questions? we are trying to give priority. >> my name is alex. i am a graduate student. my question to bcu with regard to capture controls. even the large amount of liquidity in the international economy, emerging markets start to point to controls especially brazil for example. it appears to me there has been an ideological change after 2008, especially the imf
publishing papers about the orthodox approach. i would like to know how the united states sees the use of capital controls by the emerging markets. >> it is important what is driving this influence. there are two fundamental sources of work. one is the world perceives likely to be growing at a more rapid rate in the future. that is a good thing for those countries that reflect a lot of confidence in their relative growth prospects. the other force driving this is consequence of china's exchange regime. china still runs a close capital account. tightly managing the link of currency to dollar. a lot of forces that run more flexible regimes push currencies up with the chinese currency.
and domestic inflation to come -- you are right to say there is a new wave of experimentation going on with risks that come from those lows. they can be -- a whole different set of measures. the most important thing to do with that is to make sure those flows don't end up financing too much leverage in the financial system with an unsustainable growth in credit. that is a provincial challenge and mandible challenge, the asian and the emerging crisis. i am not troubled by the new experimentation. china does too reducing the
extent to which china's policies are related to the challenge. >> before i go to the next question i need to come to a few points. >> you are welcome to correct me. >> china embarked on an important set of reforms. to loosen the controls in china to make it easier for countries to use its currency. those reforms are going to happen. they will accelerate transition to a more market-oriented exchange which is a good thing too. if you look at china's intentions, a difficult debate about what the right pace of
reform is, we're doing in terms of nominal cases, the controls that exist with currency out of china. >> the key dimensions where china has to change its economic policy to arrive at a more balanced and harmonious international economic situation. you are very forthright for the u.s. economy. among the chinese leadership or need for these changes, to embark upon these policies. what is the quality of your dialogue? >> there's a lot of support in china for basic imperatives they
face and rebalancing and very active debate in china and competition in china over what the right case is for those reforms. as china goes through this political transition over the next year or so, in some way having an effect of slowing the pace of reform. reducing a bit of caution among leadership. if you look at what china has done, they run a remarkably effective, incredibly ambitious set of economic reforms with a clear long-term strategy that has been enormously beneficial to the global economy as a whole. recognize for them to continue on that path they have to change fundamentally. look at what the chinese leadership has said, there's a
lot of awareness. we have a very good understanding of our interest in the economic side. very good understanding of concerns that we each have, good relationship and huge amount of admiration for the vice premier who leads these efforts in china and has made an enormous difference in things that matter to us. but faces a lot of opposition in china. as you know of anybody in this case. i really think overtime china has no choice but to move what they believe is in their interests in their economic challenges and china needs to recognize that. please let ..
i have a question on the rebalancing theme you mentioned especially the point about encouraging china depending on your perspective towards shifting away from export driven. i am kind of zooming out because i think that is a similar perspective with other export economies like germany. i wanted to know how fell at such points were and if they were anymore any more or less valid actually that they in turn encourage the u.s. away from a consumer credit.s >> as we all know and we learned through an incredibly painful, deep recession, the u.s. growths has been driven too much by consumption, by investment in housing for the rest of the
world by borrowing from the rest of the world. and we couldn't place a way to a growth strategy in the united states and more investment driven, more export driven. and we have to be saving more and investing more and that process is happening. if you look at the initial shape of recovery in the united states, private savings is much higher. and private investment is growing very, very rapidly. the underlying pace of productivity gains is very strong. manufacturing exports very strong and that's very encouraging. what it does for the rest of the world is fundamental change and growth strategy outside of the united states. those other economies recognize that they're not going to be able to look to the united states to be as strong a source of demand for their products as was true in the past. and china, of course, recognizes that reality as do many other
countries and that is part of what has driven, that along with the crisis and the vulnerability they were exposed to in being so export-dependent has forced a fundamental reassessment of how they want to grow and again, it's that fundamental economic interest that motivates this shift, this rebalancing broader imperative. now, these are thing you can't force other countries to do, you know, this is a much more integrated world economy and a world of sovereign states and so what we have to do is to find it a way to make compelling for countries to make those broad changes together so that the changes that we're going through in the united states are complemented by other growth in the world and allow the world economy to grow much closer to its potential growth. that's a overwhelmingly compelling fundamental imperative for the major economies. i think it's broadly recognized. you're going to have different paths to get there but there's no alternative.
>> we have four students. >> thank you. i'm an assistant professor in international economic region of american university but i'm also an alum and a adjunct professor here to economics. i have a question about the topic of today which is emu's -- the european debt crisis. the japanese are buying europe-owned -- your president promised to double american exports in the next two years and it's much bigger than china and must be a major source of american product. the euro is at four-month low against and it doesn't seem it will get any stronger anytime should not so i'm just wondering, u.s. treasury secretary, are involved with brussels in the u.s. decision-making and how are worried are you about this.
i don't think the chinese will be any rush to straighten their currency but demand will change too. >> i think you're absolutely right. one of the still most remaining challenges in the process of the economy is the challenges europe is facing but i'll give you my personal view. i do spend a lot of time talking to my counterparts in europe about the choices they face and how to get ahead of this problem. it is my view that they have made decision that they will do whatever is necessary to prevent this crisis from escalating beyond the countries that were the initially were the focus of so much pressure. there is no doubt that they have the ability to do that financially and economically. and i think they've chosen to do so and if you listen carefully to what the leaders and germany and france and the others are saying, they made it clear they're going to do it. and what they're engaged in now
is a complicated discussion of how best to do that. what scale of financial support and support of what set of reforms to help the banking system through this, help the weaker sovereigns to do this. and they have the capacity to do it and i think they recognize that if you get behind the fundamental forces driving this process, it's more difficulty to solve, much more costly and expensive to solve and they are eager not repeat that -- the choice of the last first six of last year. and that's my perception and you're right to say that europe and japan together are still a very large share of global growth and demand. and the world economy as a whole is not going to be growing at a sufficiently rapid rate unless you see the major economies in europe play a major role as part
of that. now, of course, realistically the challenges that greece and ireland are going through are going to -- they are unavoidable. i mean, they are necessary adjustments they have to go through. but for growth in europe as a whole, what matters is how rapidly do the major economies, germany, france, and spain and italy grow and how successfully are they going to in restoring confidence in their capacity to manage these financial challenges. >> wait for the mic. yeah, yeah. >> charles, a teacher at sais. as you said in your speech, i think, correctly, what is very important is what we do in terms of our own economy. so my question to you? -- to you is this, what can we do to accelerate foreign investment in the united states and our own investment into this economy as rapidly and as effectively as we can?
>> in the short term, of course, it's worth noting that the tax package that was passed in congress has a very short-term incentive for this that because we provide for one-year period of investments and capital equipment and that has the benefit of providing a pretty powerful spark and catalyst, useful reinforcement and recovery in gathering momentum but we have some ways to go to repair the damage, climb out of the hole. long term, it's obvious. we want to make sure we have a tax system that create better incentives for investment in the united states. the president proposed last september to expand resigning a permanent tax credit for research and development in the united states. but that's just one of the things we can do and we're examining whether we can find
the political support for a comprehensive tax reform. it would be neutral but would improve incentives of investment in the hundreds what we do for education, not just higher education but the basic quality of public education across the country is fundamental. our ability to make this still a compelling case for talent people around the world not just to go to school but to build a business and make sure that we restore our economy that was a financial system that was really very good, really the envy of the world and taking the savings of americans and channeling them to support innovative companies, entrepreneurs, making sure those reforms work and creating not just a more stable system but want to encourage inocomparison allocate the capital sufficiently is very, very important. i'm repeating now what i said in my speech. we were very early very, very good as a country in investing a substantial share of public
resources in research and development in basic science. that's something we have to make sure we preserve the capacity to do. and if you look at the quality of public infrastructure in the united states, it's alarmingly poor and that operates like a tax on american businesses, raises costs for businesses and there's a very good compelling economic case, you know, for a prudently financed economic investment in the united states. that's a good start. doing those well won't solve all of our problems. but if you won't do those things, nothing is possible and that's what i would focus our priorities on. >> good morning, professor. i studied with you for two semesters. my question is about the financial narcotics china and deepening them and making them broader. and what do you see and how do
you see that in terms of a bond market or a derivatives market. >> excellent question. financial reform is a key part of that. and you see china expanding foreign firms so they have a spark for the major global institutions in in this area but they are starting to gradually set a more market set -- a more driven system and reduce the role of the state, reduce the administrative controls on how capital is allocated, and that process has a long way to go. but i think they recognize that part of this transition to a more domestic driven growth strategy requires financial reform creates greater ability for individuals to borrow, for companies to borrow. and, of course, fundamental to china, they want to make sure
that the -- you know, what financial systems do is they allocate capital. and how fast you grow over time depends on how well they allocate capital. you know, we've had a great long run in the united states. but you saw what happened w .. greater. the risk for them is much greater that there will be huge investments wasted over time and things that are not going to be very helpful to china's growth ambitions. so there's a very substantial financial imperative to move for a financial based marketship prudently managed and good but you don't want to -- you can't grow if you rely on the state to decide who get capital at what price. it doesn't work. there's no successful example of a strategy that relies on a government to decide how to
allocate the price capital. >> i have another student question in the center here. >> good morning, secretary geithner. my name is john gams and i'm a ph.d. student here at sais. my question, is we went through a heated political election and china's role was not the chief concern but was certainly a concern and was -- the potential to scapegoat the chinese and our economic problems was certainly leveraged by both parties to a certain extent. is that worrying to you as a policymaker. how disconcerting is it to you and if you don't mind sharing, how disconcerting to your counterparts in china. >> it should be a concern to anyone in the united states and something the chinese need to watch very carefully. if you look at the strength of concern in the united states across parties, it's not a republican or democratic concern. it's the bipartisan concern.
you saw the strength of the vote on the current legislation in the house in the fall and i know it's something china is very attentive to and they need to be. what china needs more than anything is an external environment with access to not just our markets but if they're going to meet their broader growth ambitions. so they're very tied to it and i think we should all be very troubled by it. you know, what's happened in the united states today has happened in the past. when you're in a moment of crisis that's caused a huge damage to the basic economic security of americans, you know, we tend to look at the assent of others, the relative assent of others as a concern and a threat. we look at them as sort of the prism with which we view our concerns. but as i said, put that in contest to recognize how well we do as a nation will depend fundamentally on what we do in the united states.
china presents huge opportunities for us. and where things we admire in china's growth create a bit of a more spirited action in the united states, that would be a good thing. >> okay. now i guess we're going to turn it over. we've got a couple last questions from the media. so i'll go ahead and turn it over to them. >> thank you for taking our questions. it was said today chinese officials over in beijing ahead of this visit suggested in a news conference that it would be welcome if the united states provided more reassurance. during president hu's visit their holding of u.s. treasury, are you prepared right now to offer any sort of reassurance and will president obama offer any concrete actions that the u.s. will take to put its fiscal house in order? >> okay, these are the kinds of things that you typically see foreign ministry people say in the run-up to these meetings. it's the typical pattern,
nothing exceptional interesting in this. and, of course, no one cares more than i do and the president does that we make sure we're doing things for the united states to sustain the confidence of the americans and countries around the world in our capacity to manage our challenges here at home. and, of course, we're very focused on that. >> mr. secretary, i have a question regarding the chinese currency. regarding the letter of the chinese currency you used to judge the assessment by the imf. but i'd like to ask your judgment on the currency -- >> i agree with the imf. [laughter] >> and secondly, does the pace of the appreciation -- you mentioned it's 6% annually. are you satisfied -- are you
satisfied with this that's or do you have any idea of the ideal pace of the appreciation saying 10%, 20%? >> well, again what matters is the rate of the nominal change against the dollar but also the relative rates of the inflation in the hundreds because it's the real change that matters and the real terms the chinese currency is moving in a rate substantially faster of 6% a year. just for comparison the last time the chinese allowed the currency to move over time was a period between 2006 and 2008 where it moved roughly 20%, i guess, a dollar in a two-year period of time. how is that? [laughter] >> i mean, i said this in my speech, we'd like them to move faster. we think it's better for them to move faster. it's better for the exchange rate to carry more of the burden of meeting the challenges they face in the inflation side. if they don't -- the nominal
exchange rate, the nominal rate would be higher but that would not be as good a mix for china. but peter can do a better job of explaining that than me. [laughter] >> all right. well, i agree with you the real exchange rate is the thing to really focus on. not because they designed it that way but because of the events, the inflation in china. the real exchange rate is appreciate much faster. i agree it's probably going to be at least 7% this year. >> well, it could be significantly higher than that but again, the most important thing to understand, it is going to happen. there's no alternative path. the only choice for china is how it happens and what happens with inflation with the exchange rate itself. i think there's substantial recognition among the chinese
leadership. >> thank you, mr. secretary. john with cpi tv of taiwan. the end of the election season seems to have taken a lot of steam of the currency debate. my question is, how much of it is politics? and how much of it is real economics? thank you. >> all economics is politics. i would put differently, what makes economics interesting and challenging is how to -- is how to figure out how to get closer to what's good economic policy given the political constraints that can get in the way of that. so how much of this concern is political. and for us it's a fundamental economic concern for the reasons we've discussed. but, of course, it has huge political salience. here's one way to think about it. you know, the exchange rate some of you can see. so you can look at what it's doing and how fast it moves.
and since it's obviously undervalued, it naturally becomes the focus of concern about fairness. it's understandable. if you look at all the other things that we focus on the trade relationship and will continue to be a very substantial focus on the trade side, it's still harder to measure progress. you know, if you -- if you try to think about what the what's the prospect what a campaign, it's difficult to know. if you look at the collective impact that china puts in place that's subsidized in products and services and investments, it will take time to know. it will be less visible. the exchange rate you can see. so it's a more natural focus of attention and it's not a surprise that it's a borrowed political debate about fairness. >> this will be the last questionth morning. >> thanks.
you had mentioned that tax reform should be revenue neutral which seems we would have to do more on the spending side to -- >> can i clarify what you said? >> yeah >> as the president said before, we are going to take a look at whether we can find a political support for a reform of the corporate tax code that would lower rates by broadening the base but not for revenue because we don't think it's fair or reasonable that does not achieve that fundamental objective. >> would the administration then be open that would increase revenue from the corporate sector? >> well, i think -- you know, you have to recognize -- and i'm sure you do, that, you know, we have to set -- we have to look at the incentives we create in the united states against those created outside of the united states. and although our effective tax rates for corporates are roughly even, our rates are roughly the
average of the other major economies. our stature rates are much higher and we have to be aware of what's going on around the world. what we want to do is make sure that we're strengthening the relative incentives for investing in the united states versus shifting investments outside of the united states and we don't want the tax code creating incentives to shift investment outside of the united states. so that's one way to think about the constraint we face. >> and just on the spending side, you know you said we need to spend more wisely. where -- >> i said spend less and spend more wisely >> and specifically where are we spending unwisely? and would the administration be open to what house republicans have floated in that discretionary back to 2008. i know that the administration has a discretionary spending freeze but would they be willing to go further? >> you're going to see the president in the state of the union and the budget lay it's a set of proposals how we bring
our fiscal policy back in balance. if you look back what he proposed in the first two budgets. he proposed a level of discretionary spending that will restore nondefense discretionary spending or let me say nonsecurity discretionary spending back to the level that prevailed in the -- i think the reagan administration. so we proposed very substantial restraints on the rate of growth in discretionary spending that would shrink the discretionary part of the government back to a level that prevailed about a generation ago. now, that's not the most important thing to do. the most important thing to do is to do that but preserve the capacity to invest more in things that will be essential to our competitiveness and that's why i wanted to emphasize again that as you think about how to restore fiscal sustainability, the challenge is not fundamentally how to bring our resources and get us more into balance. our challenge is how to do that
that is not just fair to the american people, to the middle class family but improves rather than impairs our capacity to grow if the future. and our debate is how to make sure that we're preserving the capacity to spend more strategically and reach the development in education, in incentives for investment. and in public infrastructure. thank you very much. nice to see you all. i hope all of you -- i hope all of you here at sais will have the chance to do more for your country. it's a cool, noble thing to do. nothing more compelling. i hope you do it. [applause] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> on television, on radio, and online. c-span bringing public affairs to you. created by cable, it's washington your way. >> yesterday was the anniversary of the earthquake in haiti. next relief efforts from gail mcgovern. it's estimated that the earthquake killed 230,000 people, injured 300,000, and left 2 million homeless. from the national press club in washington, this is an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, welcome to the national press club. i'm alan bjerga, president of the national press club. we are leading organization for
the journalist, we are committed to the future through programs and fostering a free press. for more information visit our web site at www.press.org. to donate to the professional training programs please visit www.press.org/library. on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speaker and attendees of today's event which include guests of the speaker as well as working journalist. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. after the speech concludes, i will ask audience questions. first head table guest. from your right nasir ahmad.
international news manager, sam, president and ceo of world action. david melzer, senior vice president for the american red cross and guest of the speaker. melissa sharbino, organizer of the event. skipping over the speaker, susie francis. rachel ray. rachel donahue. april ryan, white house correspondent and washington bureau chief for the american urban radio network, and finally brooke stoddard, freelance journalist. [applause] [applause] >> today is the one year anniversary of the earthquake that deaf -- devastated haiti,
claiming more than 200,000 lives and destroying homes, leaving 1 million people homeless. many haitian families still need food, shelter, and sanitation. survivors are living in tent camps, marked by disturbing reports of violence. debris clogs the capitol much port-au-prince. tougher accountability on how funds are spent. today guests are crucial. gail mcgovern heads the nation's largest disaster relief organization. one that raised half a billion for haiti assistance. last year the red cross announced it has spent $245 million on haiti recovery efforts. more than half of what it has collected. haiti is a test for the american red cross as well. when she took the job in 2008, mcgovern was the charity's
seven ceo in seven years, hired to restore the red cross' tarnished reputation and bottom line. one the most power women, the marketing and fund raising effort slashed to cut the charities $2 million debt working to gain the trust of donors and the charities disorganized response to hurricane katrina. then on january 12th, 2010, which is also mcgovern's birthday, the deadly haiti earthquake struck. the day after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. as she began fight the her personal battle, as well as the battle for haiti, she launched the campaign to provide assistance to the quake victims. she's here to discuss how they are spend, to give an update on what it has accomplished, and lay out the challenges.
please welcome to the national press club american red cross president and ceo, gail mcgovern. [applause] [applause] >> thank you very much, alan. i am really pleased to be back at the national press club. it's really quite an honor. i'm grateful to report to you and also the public on the operations in haiti on the one-year anniversary. i plan to talk about how the red cross is putting your donated dollars to work, and the challenges, and how we plan to move forward to help haiti and it's people recover. but first i want to point out that even though haiti is by far the largest operate that -- operation that we've worked on 2010, it's not the only disaster
that we've responded to, and it isn't the only thing that we've been focused on this year. the fact is that one in five people in the united states have been touched by the american red cross. but it's actually unusual for me to meet anyone that knows everything that we do. we respond to 70,000 disasters every single year. and we do this at volunteers who wear pagers 24 by 7. this past year we dealt with major disasters in the u.s. as well, like the floods in tennessee, or the tornadoes that hit the south and midwest, or the wild fires in colorado. we are also there to respond to tens of thousands of single family house fires that happen each and every year and probably don't even make the evening news. these seemingly quote unquote small disasters may seem small. if your family is impacted, they
are of epic proportions. we are there to provide shelter, we're there to provide food, we're there to provide comfort and hope. in addition to disaster response, we provide nearly half of the nation's blood supply, and every single one of those ten million units were donated by a generous and selfless person who really wanted to save lives. we also work with members of the military, veterans, and their families by providing support and 500,000 emergency communications every single year. that would range from delivering the news of a tragedy at home, or to the video connection that we set up for a soldier who is deployed so that he could teach his teenage son how to shave for the very first time. we also teach live-saving skills to about 10 million people every year. and it's unusual for a month or
two to go by when we are not honoring somebody who has an ordinary person who has done an extraordinary act. recently, we honored a 17-year-old young man who saved his 3-year-old brother from choking because of his red cross training. the depth and breath of all that we do still continues to amaze even me, and it truly is a privilege to be part of it. one last thing before i start talking about haiti, 18 months ago, i spoke at the national press club about the challenges of navigating a nonprofit through turbulent economic waters. and at that time, i talked about how the red cross was trying to eliminate a $209 million operating deficit over a two-year period. i'm pleased to let you know after a great deal of cost cutting, consolidation, and streamlining that we closed our fiscal year this past june and
we did so with the modest surplus. none of these cost-cutting initiatives impacted our ability to do our mission and we are continuing seeking ways to be efficient in order tour outstanding stewards of our donor's dollars. now for haiti. as we all know, a year ago today, haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, 7.0 magnitude that killed an estimated 230,000 people and left an additional 1.3 million people homeless. it flattened homes, it destroyed much of the capitol city, it damaged government operations, including the death of many civil servants. matt merrick, a 36-year-old from pennsylvania was the head of the american red cross operations in port-au-prince when the earthquake struck. he and his co-workers dove under their desks when the earthquake
started. and when it was over, they saw light. and they realized that the walls of their building had collapsed around them. matt crawled out from the wreck only, and he looked across the hillside to see thousands of homed that were pancaked. he knew in an instant that many, many people had died. despite the trauma that he himself and his team experienced, matt and the others spent all night bandaging and cleaning wounds. they sent out teens to provide first aid to people that were in hard-to-reach locations, and had to carry the injured to get them to the vehicles to carry them to one of the few remaining operating hospitals. my first trip to haiti was just a few days after the earthquake. the deceased weren't buried and still in the street.
i saw people walking around the streets of port-au-prince with nothing more than the shock and grief on their faces. the extent of the devastation, the number of injuries, and the smell of death were just indescribable. the city of eeriely quiet. no one smiled, no one laugh, no one spoke, no one even cried. people were living in makeshift tents that they made from pieces of sheet under little sticks. if you wanted to talk to the residents in these makeshift camps, you had to crawl around on your hands and feet to be able to see them. these images are still very, very vivid to me today. and i suspect they will be for years to come. the experience, fundamentally changed my life. i felt a combination of heartbreak, but also steely determination to do whatever we
possibly could to help the people of haiti recover, no matter what. i have pictures of children that i took during that first trip and i have them on my refrigerator. i look at them every day. they help remind me of our mission, and why we need to be sure that every single dollar that we spend is spent wisely. what also strengthens my resolve is the incredible outpouring of generosity from the american public. the tremendous needs of the haitian people brought out the tremendous heart in the people of our country. so many americans reached into their hearts, they reached into their wallets, and even reached for their cell phones to be able to give. they did so in such tough economic times. i want each and every one of them to know that we are truly grateful for those donations and they are making a difference for the people of haiti. overall, the american red cross
has raised $479 million for earthquake relief and recovery efforts. these came in in -- these came n from millions of doe nors in various ways and sizes. like the $1 million from a fortune 500 company, the $400 that was raised by a fourth grade class in massachusetts, or the crumbled up dollar bill that came with a note that said this is from the tooth far -- fairy, can you give it to the people of haiti? more than $40 million from texting. at $10 a pop. it shattered all records for mobile giving. and i like to think that it introduced a whole new generation to that delicious feeling of giving back, probably for the first time. with the outpouring of support coming a responsible for
accountability, and for transparency. and this new generation of donors wants to know how the red cross is spending their money. and i learned that first hand when i did a skype interview with their fourth grade class that i talked about that raised $400. i expected the conversation to be pretty simplistic. these were 9-year-old kids. i knew we had entered into a new era of transparency when these kids asked me some really tough questions about exactly how their $400 were going to be spent. i provided them with a lot of details and as i told the class, the red cross is committed to wisely spending the money that our donors have entrusted to us. whenever i make decisions i try to imagine that our donors are sitting right there at the table with me, and i ask would they be happy with the way that we are spending the money, would they
approve, and will it help the people of haiti? personally win welcome this new level of transparency, and i'm proud to share our decisions with their donors. i'm often asked whether or not we're spending the donors' dollars fast enough. three months after the earthquake, we told our press and donors that we estimated to contract to spend $200 million in the first year following the earthquake. the fact is to date, we provided more relief that we projected. i'm proud to report the american red cross has spend contracts to spend or spent $245 million in the first 12 months. and that is more than half of the $479 million that we collected, and if you do some quick math, the suspending rate of 2/3 of a million dollars every day. that rate is possible because of the large disaster response
capacity and we can also very swiftly identify partners in haiti who can also deliver massive amounts of assistance to compliment our own capabilities. so for the next few minutes, i'm going to describe the emergency relief that we provided in the first year since the earthquake, and these are the kinds of services and activities that are urgently needed after a disaster and in haiti, they have literally kept people alive. and that's a point worth reemphasizing. while conditions in haiti will still extremely difficult, these relief efforts made possible by your donations have saved lives that otherwise would have been lost. after i describe our relief efforts, i'll talk about the challenges that we cased, the need to be flexible, and i'll also talk about our plans going forward. i'll be using some of the facts
and figures that can be found in the one year haiti report. it's on the web site, redcross.org. i'll also be talking about what the american red cross, and as a network with the other red cross societies around the world. our emergency relief efforts include six different categories. food, water, sanitation, emergency shelters, livelihoods, health services, and disaster preparedness. and i'll give you a few details on each and i'll start with food. after the earthquake, the american red cross provided the world food program that's part of the un with $30 million in funding and an additional $14 million and ready to eat meals. that was enough to feed $ -- feed 1 million people. this assistance was vital in a country where even prior to the
earthquake, 1.9 million people went to bed hungry for were completely reliant on aid for sustenance. they asked aid organization to stop distributing food, they felt it would harm the local economy, particularly local farmers. so our funds were redirected to provide school meals, food for work programs, and nutritional supplements for children who were under five years old, or pregnant women, or nursing women. next is the area of water and sanitation. since the earthquake, the global red cross network has been providing clean, drinkable water to hundreds and thousands of people throughout port-au-prince each and every day. we've also funded he treens, and it's important to know that before the earthquake, only one in three people had access to
clean drinking water and less than 20% had access to toilets. just imagine living in a home where every thyme there's a heavy rain, you are knee deep in water and you are can't lay down were your children can't lay down. you have to stay up all night. these drainage projects keep residents drier, help reduce disease, and put people to roof. the first area is emergency shelters. more than 1/3 of the tarps and tents that were provided to the people in the tented communitied came from the red cross. and to put that in perfective. if you may those tarps and tents end to end, they will go all the way from new york city to miami. now, of course, we are work to
get people out the tents as quickly as possible. but at least these shelters have provided earthquake survivors from protection from the blazing sun and the punishing rains. fourth, the american red cross has been working hard to help the haitian people get back on their feet through jump starting livelihoods. we've been work, the microfinancing partner in haiti. we've helped about 220,000 people do cash grants and business loans. many of these families that receive grants were led by women and that is is particularly vulnerable group economically as you know. also pause hundreds of thousands of displaced haitians left the capitol to seek refuge with friends and families, we are provided support to 70,000 people living with host families. these grants and loans made a real difference for haitians,
like the owner of a food shop. she lost most of the shop in the earthquake. thank to the grant, her business is open, and growing, and she can provide support. there's signs that more and more haitians are getting back on their feet. in fact, the u.n. tracks the populations in the camps and that have determined that the number of residents have declined by more than half a million people since the earthquake. the fifth area includes several different initiatives that we are work in the area of health. the american red cross heavenned fund a u.n. vaccination program. we vaccinated close to a million men, women, and children against diphtheria, pertussis, mere --
measles, and rubella. we have the only critical care and trauma center in all of haiti. the earthquake left thousands of haitian survivors with crushed limbs. the american red cross is helping to fund the protestics and rehabilitation that's run by the hands for haiti. you can just imagine the joy that a child would experience with an artificial limb. it brings them back to normalcy. whether it's being able to walk or to be able to kick a soccer ball again. our final set of projects in the emergency phase is in the area of disaster preparedness for haiti. haiti is obviously a disaster-prone country, and in order to be ready for the rainy seasons and the hurricane seasons, we're working to build a culture of preparedness. the red cross prepositioned
enough emergency supplies, tarps, tents, blankets, and cots for 125,000 people and they are scattered around haiti. haitian volunteers trained by the red cross have gone into the camps to provide residents with basic disaster preparedness and response tools. they've worked with community residents to put sandbags up on the hillside and create evacuation routes. this included setting up emergency communications using bull horns or cell phone calls chains and the like. this is reenforced by the innovative use of text messaging and broadcast media. when hurricane tomas was approaching haiti in the fall, we worked with a wireless provider in haiti and sent millions of text messages telling people the steps to take to prepare for this storm. and these preparations have kept
the loss of life to a minimum when tomas struck in november. so hopefully that gives you a sense of our relief activities and as i said, morety -- more details are available on our web site. at the american red cross we know that it is very important to have a plan during disaster response. but it's also very important to be flexible. and the cholera outbreak is a new and unexpected crisis that we had to response to. as soon as the cholera outbreak started, the red cross advantage into action. cargo planes filled with relief supplied that were paid for by the american red cross were landing in port-au-prince, the red cross america opened three centers and providing for other centers as well. we are providing safe water
every day to more than 300,000 people in port-au-prince. the red cross donated 10,000 aqua tablets that purify water. text messaging has been part of the cholera response as well. we have sent 3.7 million text messages with techniques and information across the country. we have transported hundreds of thousands of prevention and treatment like soap, oral hydration tablets, and i.v. solutions, et cetera. we've shipped thousands of cots from our own ware houses here in the u.s. for use in the cholera treatment facilities and hundreds of american red cross trained hygiene promoters are going tent to tent in the camps
in port-au-prince to explain how to stop the spread of cholera. and this is really not an easy feat. because this is a country where the illiteracy rate is so high, you can't chop up a brochure and ask people to read it. i had the privilege of following the groups of volunteers around the tents. they used techniques from having a story board with illustrations to literally demonstrating how you wash your hands with cholera soap. and when they were done, they would teach the kids in the camp the cholera song which has catchy tune to it, and the lyrics are all about how to prevent the spread of cholera. the second example where we had to be flexible had to do with an extensive initiative that we were planning as part of our relief work. however, this project unfortunately is going to have to go into the column of challenges that we faced and it shows the need to adapt to new
developments and new directions. i'm speaking about our cash transfer program, which you may recall from our previous report. we had successfully piloted a program where we were going to distribute $40 million to help people living in the camps. and our feeling was that this would empower them to provide for their own needs, rather than waiting in line for aid distribution. however, the government of haiti asked us to stand down on this program in late october. and the rational was that the provision of cash would have more people moving into the tented communities and would insent people not to leave. we were disappointed, frankly, i understand the point of view. but we have to abide by their decision. and since that time, the american red cross has been working to reallocate that money
into financial assistance initiative that is would be more targeted. and these would include cash for work, relocation grants, school vouchered to offset tuition for k-12. almost every student has to pay a fee to go to school in haiti. because 90% of the school system is private schools. our goal remains to get cash into the hands of families which will not only improve their lives, but also stimulate the haitian economy. another challenge that all of you have read about is finding land to get people out of the camps and into transitional homes. and this effort has not moved as quickly as any of us would have hoped for for a number of reasons. first, it's been very difficult for the haitian government to determine exactly who owns the land. and obviously, groups like the american red cross can't just charge in there, steal land, and
start building. it's not our land, and it's not our country. much of the available land is covered with tons of rubble that has to be removed within and there isn't enough heavy equipment in haiti to do so, and even if there were the roads were so narrow that heavy equipment won't be able to have access to remove the rubble. but despite these challenges, the american red cross is moving ahead in our efforts to provide more permanent shelters for haitians that are currently living under tarps and tents. we are spending $48 million as part of the red cross networks overall goal to build transitional homes for 150,000 people. and our partners have already completed a number of these homes in 16 different communities. the homes that they have completed will be able to house 15,000 people. these are brightly colored homes, they are vivid sign of progress, and a sign of hope. and i like the fact that in many
instances, they are being built by the haitians that live right in that community. as part of the cash for work program that's being funded by the american red cross. so looking ahead, the red cross is planning to spend the remainder of our funds on longer term recovery, and we plan to be in the haiti until the very last dollar is spend. and our hope is to leave a lasting exact. the bulk of the remaining funds will be spent on permanent housing. our plan is to provide permanent homes using two different approaches. the first is to rehabilitate the communities inside. homes in the city has been marked with green if they are able to be habitable. yellow if they need repair, and red if they have to be demolished. so our program would include repairing homes that are damaged and replacing those demolishing and replacing those that are
unsound. this obviously is a street by street approach, and it allows people to return to their neighborhoods and stay close to family, friends, and jobs. the second approach is a greenfield where we develop brand new communities outside of port-au-prince, and we are very excited to be able to tell you about two brand new initiatives. first, the american red cross is working closely with the us government, the state department through the usaid. we are working on the planned partnership to build permanent housing for people that were left homeless during the earthquake. under the partnership, usa is would identify and prepare the locations for permanents homes that would include roads, drainage, and other infrastructure. the plan is that the american red cross would build these homes, including water and sanitation. and we anticipate spending as much as $30 million with usaid.
second the american red cross is also working on a separate housing project with the interim american development bank or i idb. we anticipate we will spend $15 million on the land for the haitian government, land would include roads, sanitation systems, electrical services and other infrastructure. these projects are part of the $100 million that we plan to invest to provides tens of thousands of people with permanent homes and they will unfold over the next few years. so before i take your questions, i do want to offer personal perspective. my experience in haiti is like nothing i have ever experienced. i've made several trips since the earthquake, and each time i experience every single possible emotion. deep sadness and dispair, but also pride, joy, and hope.
and i'm like all americans, i wish the pace of progress could be faster in haiti. i'd like to see all haitians living in permanent homes with robust livelihoods, and have vibrant communities. and instead, about 800,000 people are still living under tarps and tents while the haitian government works to sort out land ownership issues. and this is not easy in a country where title documents often didn't ever exist. and where the government work force was decimated during the earthquake. while much has been done in haiti, the conditions still are very tough for the people there. i keep reminding myself that haiti was a very poor country before this devastating earthquake. more than 70% of haitians went to -- were living on $2 a day or less. only one in three haitians had access to safe drinking water. less than half of the people in
haiti have electricity, and the illiteracy rate is 48%. in many cases, aid groups aren't just rebuilding, we are building the infrastructure for the first time. the recent events like the cholera, hurricane tomas has not helped. but there's also hope and progress. the resiliency, the determination, the spiritualty, and the positive attitude of the people that i have met in haiti are absolutely inspirational. and i'm also inspired by our red cross workers on the ground who endure many of the same hardships in order to be there every single day helping others
under incredibly challenging circumstances. they have really accomplished so much. and i'm deeply moved by all of you who entrusted us to spend your dollars wisely in ways that best help the people of haiti. and that is a exactly what we're doing. i'm personally committed to spend it a way that will make our donors proud. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> thank you very much for taking some time on your birthday to speak with us today. that's of course an important anniversary. first question from the audience, please do not hesitate to send up your question. how is the political atmosphere in haiti effecting relief efforts? >> i mentioned the civil unrest. that was a reality. as a result, a lot of the aid
operations had to stand down temporarily. but the prime minister and president bill clinton are working on the haitian recovery mission. they are still meeting and approving projects. the one that i described in here were put in front of the commission and it is still moving. it's moving slowly. >> this audience member asks how much has the haitian government helped or hindered your work there? >> so as i said, their job is not easy. people were living in homes that had no titles. and if you visited haiti and the see the rumble, it is incredible with what they have to do. the good news is they completed the work to label the yellow, green, and red houses. the projects that i described, for example, are starting to move forward. i'm see transitional shelters
spring up all over the place. we are building 20 to 30 every single day, seven days a week. so there is progress. but the haitian government has a lot of hard work to do with decimated work force. >> from the haitian government to the u.s. government, understanding that the red cross is a donor agency, what is your reaction to discussions that you hear in the new congress of cutting to the foreign aid budget, questions about accountability with relief, and just the general atmosphere with budget cutting in congress? >> well, as the ceo of the american red cross, one of our seven tenants is neutrality. i want to be neutral on all things political. having said that, we are working very closely with the state department, usaid, and they are helping us forge ahead over there in haiti. >> you mentioned near the end of your address that you had seen examples of hope and inspiration
that have kept you doing with your work. what is the specific example of success that you've seen in the past year that gives you hope? >> there are signs of hope all over haiti. you can walk around haiti and hear hammering as transitional shelters go up, you can see kids with artificial limbs that are walking for the first time since the earthquake, people look healthier in haiti. when i was there the first time, there were so many injured people. and now you can see that people that -- the health system was nonexistent before haiti. only one in 10,000 people had access to health care. there's also progress that you don't see. like the fact that one million people are vaccinated against diseases that were widespread, or that water borne illnesses minimized in close quarters in port-au-prince because of prevention, clean water
distribution, et cetera. every time i go, i am so delighted to see how much commerce is happening in the streets. it seem like this isn't an empty spot on the curb where someone hasn't set up some sort of shop and is selling something. people using the red cross tarps and tents that had a restaurant and table for two. it was fully booked. i saw a manicurist, barbershop, these are beautiful signs of progress and testimony to the resiliency and determination of the haitian people. >> following up on the examples of health care, such as the vaccination, how do you take the relief effort, mass humanization, and translate into the system once you are gone? >> that's a question.
we are literally helping to keep the doors open of the two hospitals that i described. the haitian government has started paying the salaries in the university hospital which we think is a great sign. but in order for the health care to be sustainable, it has to be a government-run institution. the aid will eventually run out. we have $479 million. that sounds like a lot. it's not enough to keep hospitals going forever. the haitian government has begun to engage and we're working with them to transition the salaries over to the government. >> so when disaster occurs, there's the initial burst of aid to deal the with crisis, then the longer term development, and when you put resources and to other, you said the example of food. there was an immediate rush of food, then the desire because of the damage to push it away.
when do you make those judgments that in a certain area you have left the crisis phase and are now in the longer-term phase? and to what extent in haiti are we still in one and not yet into another in different areas? >> so that decisions varies in each and every disaster. they are all a little bit different. as an humanitarian, i never want to stop distributing relief. i mean you want to keep continuing it. but i know that if we were to do that at the end, the money would run out and the incredible outpouring. as people are leaving the tented communities, they are getting back on their feet.
for the transitional homes as well. it's important to do this. it's a sign of process. it's a permanent and dellable lasting impression on the country. at the same time, we are constantly prepared for unexpected disaster like the cholera outbreak or hurricane tomas. we work closely with the government of haiti and a haitian red cross to get a sense when it's right to start doing recovery efforts. in the case of haiti, we feel it's time to start breaking ground and start building permanent homes. >> one the issues that you discussed with haiti, how much of the population has been in port-au-prince. you have initiatives to disperse. you talk about building homes,
infrastructures, water, drainage, et cetera, how do you create an economy for these towns? >> >> your observation is correct. port-au-prince had a population of 2.5, and they say it was a city to accommodate 900,000. even before the earthquake struck, it was over populated. when you look at the blueprints that the commission has worked on to figure out long-term recovery, it includes flattening port-au-prince, and dispersing the residents outside of the community. and there has to be an effort to provide livelihoods, jobs, et cetera, so part of our recovery is to continue to support livelihoods. this is something that the haitian government is working with as well. you may have noticed that yesterday that was an
announcement where two korean textile manufacturers are going to be setting up operation in the haiti. this is going to be creating 20,000 jobs. infrastructure, utilities, livelihoods, all of these things are required make haiti a vibrant community. we are cooperating with partners to make sure that those types of things are available before we start digging and also making sure that our projects are close to port-au-prince where there are job centers and possibilities for employment. >> on the topic of pace of recovery funding, you'll often hear when an effort is put forth the money is being spent too quickly, the economy can't absorb it, its